Church cautions constituency not to be misled by fake news over Covid-19 vaccine
Cape Town - The National Office of the Apostolic Faith Mission church has cautioned its constituency not to be misled by fake news, combined with one or two Bible verses, interpreted out of context and presented as “fact” when it comes to Covid-19 vaccines.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize recently announced that the first of 1.5 million vaccines would arrive in the country this month. More would arrive by the end of February.
However, the spread of misleading information has created doubts and fear in the minds of the public which could sabotage that effort because citizens need to give their consent for the vaccine to be administered.
The church said considering the serious nature of the allegations it aimed to give guidance on the matter.
“There is a pandemic caused by a real virus. All people, inclusive of pastors, church members, health workers, politicians, “high placed” individuals, as well as “ordinary” human beings can be infected. Some get very sick and some even die.
“We need to resist evil, in whatever form it manifests itself. To focus on and spread the different (and greatly conflicting) conspiracy theories is in itself playing into the hands of evil. Not only does it take our focus from where it should be as Christians, but it also results in fear, panic, desperate hopelessness and lies, all of which is not from God.”
The church said vaccines were nothing new.
“In 1796 the first successful vaccine against smallpox was developed. New techniques make the development of vaccines over shorter periods of time possible. Instead of exposing the body to a (weakened) virus so it can build a defence, the so-called mRNA-based vaccines allow our bodies to create a protein that simulates the virus, which then causes the human body to create antibodies.”
Quality Assurance manager in the Overberg, Sister Dieudonne Le Grange, said: “Read up on the vaccine and make an informed decision. In my opinion, the risk of not being vaccinated is far greater than the risk of not getting it.
“Of the tens of thousands of people who have already been vaccinated, some have reported short-term symptoms and a few have reported minor reactions. Compare that to the virus itself, which has infected more than 90 million people globally and killed approximately 1.9 million people. The overwhelming benefits of vaccines to individuals and society significantly outweigh the risks for adverse reactions,” she said.